Ethics of publishing dances on the Web
I have consulted various people who might be concerned and believe
the following to be true:-
As dancers and callers we want to encourage people to write good dances; this
implies we want authors of these dances to get their just rewards.
Dance authors want to see their dances enjoyed as widely as possible.
Where there are published collections of dances we should encourage people
to buy those collections so that in turn the publishers are encouraged to
continue their activities.
At present Internet publishing does not seem to be having
any significant effect on sales of books. Since the Internet world is
evolving rapidly this may change.
At present I believe the following `duties' apply
On me as publisher
- I may not simply type in the entire contents of some collection to discourage
people from buying it. (Just as I would not lend you a book so you can photocopy
- I should describe the dances as the authors intended them. (I might add comments
such as "I prefer xxx", but the original intent should be clear.)
- I should attempt to let authors know what I am doing, and accept their wishes if
they object to my description of their dance, or object to my making their dance freely
On you as reader
- You should not use access to these dances as a substitute for going out and buying
books of dances.
- While you are very welcome to use these dances yourself (that's what they are there
for) printing them out and selling them is not acceptable. ("Personal use only" as they
say in the States.)
On you as author
- (I'm not sure these can be duties)
- If you disagree with these principles please let me know
- If you don't like the way I have described your dance, spelt your name or whatever then please complain.
- If you feel publishing your dance 'for free' may hurt you then please ask me to stop.
Just in case anyone interprets the above to say that I am publishing zillions of dances without
the author's permission, it is true that I am publishing some without permission, but the
majority of dances on this site are either traditional or by authors who have given their
permission. No author has yet refused permission or objected (in the couple of cases where
he found me rather than vice-versa).
Please address comments to
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